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Jesus Washing His Disciples' Feet.

Jesus Washing His Disciples' Feet.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
REV. RICHARD CECIL, A.M


Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour
was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father,
having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto
the end, &c. — John xiii. 1 — 11. [Uncertain.]
REV. RICHARD CECIL, A.M


Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour
was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father,
having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto
the end, &c. — John xiii. 1 — 11. [Uncertain.]

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 08, 2013
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JESUS WASHIG HIS DISCIPLES' FEET.REV. RICHARD CECIL, A.Mow before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hourwas come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father,having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them untothe end, &c. — John xiii. 1 — 11. [Uncertain.]Our great comfort and encouragement is this — thatour blessed Saviour is unchangeable. He does notlove his children to-day, and not love them to-morrow ;but he continues to love them. He has a Cordial loveJESUS WASHIG HIS DISCIPLEs' FEET. 183for his own that are in the world. The twelve wererepresentatives of all God's spiritual seed.Ver. 2. " And supper being ended, the devil havingnow put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son,to betray him " — the devil having, as it seems, takenfull possession of the, before, evil heart of Judas : (forthe sin of Judas is, in this parenthesis, traced to itsoriginal : it was a sin which bore the devil's image andsuperscription.) Judas fell into the snare. The devilaimed also at Peter, and wished to sift him as wheat,but Peter was saved by Christ's intercession for him.Christ would fortify the disciples against the mostdangerous assaults of the devil by a singular lesson of humility.Ver. 3. " Jesus knowing that the Father had givenall things into his hands," that the administration of the kingdom of God among men, in all the branches of it, was committed to him ; '• and that he was comefrom God, and went to God." He came from God as" the sent of God," as commissioned with an embassyof mercy to lost man ; and he " went to God " to beglorified with the same glory which he had before theworld was, and also to be an agent for us in heaven.Knowing that his hour was come that he should departout of the world, and return to the glory which heleft — because Judas having now resolved to betray
 
him, the time of his departure could not be far off— hewould show by an astonishing act of condescensionand affection, that he did not intend to cast them alloff for the faults of one among them.Vers. 4, 5. " He riseth from supper, and laid asidehis garments ;" (he laid aside his loose and upper gar-ments ;) " and took a towel, and girded himself. Afterthat he poureth water into a basin, and began to washthe disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel184 ORIGIAL THOUGHTS.wherewith he was girded." In those hot countries,where they wore sandals, it was necessary and re-freshing that the feet should often be washed ; and itwas considered a token of respect, and attention, andkindness, to perform this office. In our country animitation of such an act would be superstitious andabsurd. Christ performed this as a representative of his whole undertaking : he came not to be ministeredunto, but to minister ; he had laid aside his robes of light, and girded himself with our nature, and took uponhim the form of a servant : he poured out his soul untodeath, and thereby prepared a laver to wash us fromour sins. He would herein signify the spiritual wash-ing and cleansing of the soul from the pollutions of sin.This was also a part of his voluntary abasement for oursakes.Ver. 6. " Then cometh he to Simon Peter : andPeter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?"Here we see the honest but forward spirit of Peter,opposing the conduct of his Master, which he could notcomprehend. His surprise is evident, however weunderstand the expression. He might mean, Lord,dost thou wash my feet ? Thou, who art my Lordand Master, whom I know and believe to be the Sonof God ; — shalt thou so humble thyself for me, " a sin-ful man V — or, Lord, dost thou wash my feet ? themeanest office to which thou couldst descend ! shaltthou so debase thyself as to wash my feet ? He oughtto have wondered in silence ; as knowing it was hisLord and Master.
 
Ver. 7. " Jesus answered," with the most astonishingforbearance and pity for his ignorance and bhndness — " What I do thou knowest not now ; but thou shaltknow hereafter." The implicit obedience which Christrequired was attended with a reason, imJDlying thatJESUS WASHIG HIS DISCIPLEs' FEET. 185there was something very important in this sign, whichhe should hereafter understand. Surely this ought atonce to have silenced Peter, since his Master promisedthat he should know hereafter ! He ought not to haveinquired at first ; and after this answer, he ought muchmore to have held his peace. But, the very picture of human nature, he still persists in his ignorance, andsays,Ver. 8. " Thou shalt never wash my feet." Therefusal was peremptory ; it is in the original, Thoushalt never wash my feet ; no, never ! It was the lan-guage of a fixed resolution. Peter had a real love andrespect for his Master, and here was a show of humilitvand modesty. But this show of humility was a realcontradiction to the will of his Lord. Thus many arebeguiled of their reward by " a voluntary humility,"Col. ii. 18, 19, — such a self-denial as Christ neitherappoints nor accepts. Peter was, in fact, making him-self wiser than his Master. Still forbearing with him," Jesus answered him," ver. 8, " If I wash thee not,thou hast no part with me." Thou dost in effect re-nounce thy allegiance. If thou dost not comply withthy Master's will, thou shalt not be owned as his dis-ciple. Our Lord further declares to him the necessityof spiritual w^ashing : q. d. If I wash not th)^ soul fromthe pollution of sin, thou hast no part with me, no in-terest in me, no communion with me. All those whomChrist owns, he justifies and sanctifies ; and both areincluded in his washing of them.Ver. 9. " Simon Peter saith unto him. Lord, not myfeet only, but also my hands and my head." Peterfinding what the sad consequences would be of notsubmitting to his Lord's will, is now for dictating anddirectins: how much Christ shall do for him. This is apicture of the natural heart, ever in extremes. Yet we

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